Thiemo Rösler, CEO, Rose Plastic AG
Rose Plastic, the packing giant which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, says the decisive factor for its ‘wing beat’ around the world was always following the customers to the countries where they have built up their product capacities. Today the company has production sites in Germany, USA, Brazil, China and India. It also has subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and South Korea, besides sales partners in Japan, Poland and Turkey. Introducing cutting-edge products and solutions, the company boasts of versatility and customization of its products depending on the customer’s requirements and applications. An innovator par excellence in the packaging domain, Rose Plastic has won international acclaim and accolades for its avant-garde discoveries such as TwistPack Plus, BlockPack, TopPack (for carbide tools), the InsertBox, and SplitPack (for machine tabs, taps, burrs and shank tools). In an exclusive interview with Machine Tools World, Thiemo Rösler, CEO, Rose Plastic AG takes us through its glorious history, path-breaking innovations & futuristic approach to packaging solutions. Excerpts:
Our company history started with my grandfather Ernst Rösler. Because he did not like the lumps of flour in the gravy his mother cooked, he invented a whisk back then. Several household items were produced in the years that followed. In 1953, my grandfather founded the company rose plastic in Berlin, and in the mid-1970s the company moved into packaging. Since then, the company has specialized in the production of packaging. There have also been two generational changes: In 1983, my father Peter Rösler took over the business, and since 2014 I have been running the company, now in the third generation.
L to R : Thiemo Rösler, CEO, Rose Plastic AG | Preetham Arayanveetil, Director & General Manager, Rose Plastic India Pvt. Ltd. | Peter Rösler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Rose Plastic AG
Back in the 1970s, the Bosch company was looking for new storage packaging for its masonry drills. Previously, the tools had been stored in cardboard boxes with oiled paper. The cardboard boxes naturally soaked up the oil and softened, becoming unstable. This was where the great advantage of plastic packaging over cardboard packaging became apparent. My grandfather recognized this gap in the market very quickly and closed it with great success. Today, we are number one worldwide with our packaging systems for the tool industry.
The versatility of our products is related to the versatility of our customers’ applications. And their customers, in turn, also supply many different industries. When it comes to our products, we set ourselves the standard of supplying as little packaging as possible. That means our packaging is designed to be close to the contents, so to speak. In this way, we minimize volume and reduce packaging waste. It is important to us that our customers are satisfied, so we offer them a full service. This means that if one of our standard products is not enough, we see if it can be adapted to the customer’s requirement. If it is necessary, we also offer custom packaging solutions tailored to the customer’s product. As a one-stop store, we have the know-how.
We received the PackTheFuture Award for our TwistPack Plus packaging sleeve. The most important special features in this product group are the high holding force, the easy opening and closing of the sleeve, and the rollaway protection. Thanks to the high holding force of the click latch, the TwistPack Plus does not open even with very heavy contents such as milling cutters or drills. This protects the customer’s products, but of course also the user. The telescopic quick adjustment ensures effortless opening and closing. And last but not least, the packaging sleeve stays where it is supposed to be thanks to the hexagonal base, which serves as rollaway protection.
Our BlockPack is also safe to open and close and holds the contents securely. The square packaging sleeve is adjustable in length due to its grid mechanism, easy to handle and has an attractive, shapely design. BlockPack is available from us in a very large product family with many lengths, sizes and diameters. The idea behind this wide range of products is to save packaging volume and thus plastic. The sleeve has a higher wall stiffness, which means that the interior of the sleeve can be better utilized.
In this area, we offer our customers various packaging solutions. Our portfolio is geared to customer applications, and we have developed packaging for each customer product group. For example, our TopPack for carbide tools, the InsertBox for inserts in different sizes or our multi-chamber packaging SplitPack for machine tabs, taps, burrs and shank tools.
The decisive factor for the ‘wing beat’ around the world was to always follow the customers to the countries where they have built up their product capacities. Today we have production sites in Germany, USA, Brazil, China and in India as the latest plant. Our subsidiaries are in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and South Korea. We have sales partners in Japan, Poland and Turkey. The advantages of such a network in brief: same language, same time zone, same currency. And of course, the culture of a country also plays a role. Who better to know than someone who comes from that country and knows the culture, people and language. Another advantage is the proximity to the customer and also the saving of CO2, since the freight does not have to be transported around the globe. And of course, we also create jobs at the production sites, such as in India.
We have our own product development, i.e. we have developed and produced our own tools almost 100% ourselves. The central product development happens at the location in Germany, the toolmaking in India, China, Germany and the USA. There we are powerful; we have built up our know-how in product development over the past decades. Whether it is machines or process flows, we always try to optimize.
When it comes to the material for our packaging solutions, we investigate which materials come into question in terms of recycling and recyclability and test whether they would be suitable for individual product groups. Switching from virgin material to recycled brings a saving of 70 to 80 % CO2. The use of recycled for plastics packaging has become important; as a manufacturer, we are aware of our responsibility and are very happy to go down this path with our customers. In addition, it should be mentioned that our materials are basically recyclable.
It is important to me to create a family environment for my team, but also for my customers, who I see as partners with whom you have a good long-term partnership. You are not as strong on your own. But as a team that is networked around the world at all our locations, you can support each other and stand together strongly. The “we” feeling is important. There are good times, but there are also bad times. It is important to experience and master both together.
As a company, we see ourselves as a strong partner in the change toward a circular economy. We do our part by paying attention to Design for Recycling in our packaging, for example. We also pay attention to the three important R’s: reduce – reduce materials, reuse – our packaging is basically reusable, recycle – our packaging is suitable for recycling.
But we also take a holistic view of sustainability. Renewable energies, lighting our company buildings with LEDs, heat recovery, all these are relevant topics that are already being implemented now, but will also play a major role in the future.
Make in India – I see India as one of the biggest growth markets for us in the coming years. We already have sufficient production and storage capacity at our site in India, yet a warehouse is planned there for the future. We also already have a super-strong team on site there today, which makes this growth possible in the first place. We see very large growth potential in India, especially in the areas of cutting tools, engineering (machine spare parts, ball bearings) and medical (dental). We also want to continuously expand the range of our cases. To cope with this growth, we are investing in employees and machinery to successively expand our product groups.
My recipe for success is to have a strong motivated team that has the ability to implement visions and meet customer needs in the best possible way. Be it in the consultation or delivery of our packaging. As a rose family, we work together at all locations to achieve our success.
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